control pH & salts (4)

10 Oct 2017

2017 California Nursery Conference: Part Two

Jim Owen (Virginia Tech), John D. Lea-Cox (University of Maryland), Tom Fernandez (Michigan State University), Bruno Pitton and Lorence Oki (University of California), John Majsztrik (Clemson University)

This conference, held on July 27, 2017 in Irvine, CA, focused on Water Management in Nursery and Greenhouse Production. The Clean WateRteam presented their research studies. This second part (of three) covers economic costs of water conservation, how to control pH and salts, as well as tools and models for water management. The topics covered are:

2-1SSaveCostsRefiningSubstrateNutrientProgram (3372 KB)     2-2IrrigationManagementUsingSoilMoistureSensors (2805 KB)     2-3Wheredonutrientsgowhenyouirrigate (2760 KB)     2-4NitrogenManagementPlans (631 KB)     2-5Addingtoolsintoyourwatermanagementtoolbox (447 KB)

25 Apr 2017

A New Way to Measure Electrical Conductivity

John Lea-Cox (University of Maryland)

Electrical conductivity is vital to maintain adequate plant nutrition.  Learn how to measure EC in subtrates with real-time output.  Some imporant considerations are the sensor placement, and understanding the difference between bulk EC vs. pore water EC.  See the article in the link bellow for an easy and cost-effective method for measuring EC.

1 Jun 2016

Nutrient Remediation using Two Plant Species in a Floating Treatment Wetland System

Garcia, L.M., Majsztrik, J.C., Bell, N.L., White, S.A. (Clemson University)

Excess nutrients are often present in production runoff from nurseries and greenhouses because fertilizers are used to grow plants. In 2015, we conducted trials with floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) to determine how much nutrients soft rush (Juncus effusus) and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) could absorb.  When harvested after 20 weeks, with pond nutrient concentrations averaging 10 ppm N and 3 ppm P, a 1-acre are of planted FTWs would remove 88 lbs. of N and 15 lbs. of P if planted with soft rush or 1,320 lbs. of N and 255 lbs. of P if planted with pickerelweed.

ASHS Abstract (78 KB)     ASHS Presentation (774 KB)

1 Dec 2014

Assessing Irrigation Water Quality for pH, Salts, & Alkalinity

Park, D.M., White, S.A., Menchyk, N. (Clemson University)

This research paper presents an easy-to-follow flow chart for interpreting water quality reports in soil-based growing systems.

Journal of Extension 52(6) 2014

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Description of research activities

A national team of scientists is working to encourage use of alternative water resources by the nation’s billion-dollar nursery and floriculture industry has been awarded funds for the first year of an $8.7 million, five year US Department of Agriculture – National Institute of Food and Agriculture –Specialty Crop Research Initiative competitive grant.

The team will develop and apply systems-based solutions to assist grower decision making by providing science-based information to increase use of recycled water.  This award from the NIFA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative is managed by Project Director Sarah White of Clemson University.  She leads a group of 21 scientists from nine U.S. institutions.

Entitled “Clean WateR3 - Reduce, Remediate, Recycle – Enhancing Alternative Water Resources Availability and Use to Increase Profitability in Specialty Crops”, the Clean WateR3 team will assist the grower decision-making process by providing science-based information on nutrient, pathogen, and pesticide fate in recycled water both before and after treatment, average cost and return-on investment of technologies examined, and model-derived, site specific recommendations for water management.  The trans-disciplinary Clean WateR3 team will develop these systems-based solutions by integrating sociological, economic, modeling, and biological data into a user-friendly decision-support system intended to inform and direct our stakeholders’ water management decision-making process.

The Clean WateR3 grant team is working with a stakeholder group of greenhouse and nursery growers throughout the United States.

For example, at the University of Florida graduate student George Grant is collecting data on removal of paclobutrazol, a highly persistent plant growth regulator chemical, from recirculated water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filters. This is being done in both research greenhouses and in a commercial site. The GAC filters can remove more than 90% of chemical residues, and are proving to be a cost-effective treatment method.